My Time in the RNZN
Geoff & Dorothy
Senior Lieutenant Commander Geoff Andrew, accompanied by his mother Dorothy, gave us an informative and interesting talk on his time in the RNZ Navy.
Geoff joined up when the cold war ended and noted that it changed dramatically over his next 30 years. .
“We currently serve a huge area including the south-west Pacific, Australia, southeast Asia and Antarctica plus at times taken an even broader area when required” began Andrew.
“New Zealand is involved in the protection of fishing, plus keep an eye on our closest neighbour Australia which is our only ally with other countries being seen as partnerships” he continued.
It is a very time-consuming job as the Navy needs a large amount of information which helps identify risk and place staff where they can do the most good.  Some specific areas they are involved with include illegal fishing, smuggling, and watching ships entering our space plus they also keep an eye on a huge merchant shipping operation.
The Navy operates on a wide variety of platforms with people being the central part of our operations. Aotearoa, our newest and largest ship, has a specific role in helping keep our other ships at sea.
The Navy frigates are under constant upgrading which is an ongoing process as things change rapidly.  “Our focus is also very different to 30 years ago and includes ensuring effective coordination, planning, investment and operations to achieve the desired results and my job is essentially to manage threats” note Geoff.
Collaboration is an essential component in order to understand what is happening in the areas the RNZN operates in.  It is also tasked to watch for global instability and challenges to global world order. Covid has recently had an impact in taking staff away from these usual tasks in order to help manage the specific threats it brings.
Geoff started his career on HMNZ Canterbury which has served our Navy for 35 years. He also served on many other ships as well as ships from different navies with the biggest one being time spent on USS America operating out of Hawaii.  “I enjoyed my time on them all” he smiled.
In closing Geoff noted that he found it a privilege to serve in a large number of areas where the accessing of key information was a critical requirement in order to help meet the goals of helping manage or reduce conflict quickly before other countries became involved.
Liz thanked Geoff for his informative and interesting insight into the extensive operational activities our RNZN has and continues to be actively engaged in during his career.